CIMB-Principal launches first Malaysian platform in Ireland

CIMB-Principal Islamic Asset Management has launched the first Malaysian-based international Islamic funds platform domiciled in Dublin – to tap the global UCITS market in Islamic funds.

Approval for the platform was granted by via a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Securities Commission Malaysia and the Central Bank of Ireland on 4 November 2011.

CIMB-Principal Islamic Asset Management (Ireland) Public Limited will carry three new UCITS-compliant equity funds:  the Islamic Global Emerging Markets Fund, the Islamic Asia-Pacific ex-Japan Fund, and the Islamic ASEAN Equity Fund.

Distribution will eventually take place in seven jurisdictions: the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Germany, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates and Singapore. CIMB-Principal Islamic Asset Management is the investment manager and master distributor for the funds.

Dato’ Charon Wardini Mokhzani, chief executive officer of CIMB Investment Bank – one of the two joint-venture owners of CIMB-Principal Islamic Asset Management – said: “With this new Islamic Fund range in Ireland, institutional and retail investors globally will be able to see CIMB-Principal Islamic’s asset management track record. If the funds do well, not only will they attract investment but institutional investors may also appoint CIMB-Principal Islamic to manage their discretionary mandates too. This pioneering initiative to internationalise Malaysian Islamic asset management capabilities clearly supports the Malaysian Islamic Financial Centre’s (MIFC) aspiration to be a global hub for Islamic finance.”

Jim McCaughan, president and chief executive officer of Principal Global Investors – the other jv owner – said: “Principal Global Investors is pleased to be a part of this important step forward in Islamic asset management. The combination of our global asset management expertise, with CIMB Principal Islamic’s leadership in Shariah investing provides a compelling case for investors. Additionally, our multi-boutique platform will enable us to bring a wide variety of investment capabilities to this important segment of the market. Principal Global Investors has had success for over a decade in our own UCITS platform and we are excited to share our knowledge and distribution with CIMB Principal Islamic.”

The establishment of the Irish platform is part of MIFC’s target of making Malaysia a global hub for Islamic finance. It is hoped the move will encourage large international funds to appoint Malaysian Islamic asset managers.



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